Thu, 27 December 2012
Course Evaluations, Part 2
In this podcast, we’ll look at how people other than professors see the course evaluation process, using some of our administrative experience to convince professors, parents, and students that department chairs, deans, and academic vice presidents really do look at the results. We’ll discuss course evaluations as early signals of troubled or superior teaching. Administrators often refer to course evaluations when they receive complaints about professors or classes; and, they often look at evaluations when getting good news about tenure-track faculty and when deciding on course assignments for part-time faculty.
Evaluations show patterns of teaching behavior that help administrators and faculty development committees or centers determine areas of need in a professor’s course skills. They also identify potential mentors from established faculty for new faculty members. Moreover, evaluations are not well used when they are a way of turning teaching performance into numbers; rather, they identify patterns of students care and learning.
Thu, 13 December 2012
SC 27 #1 Courage and Course Evaluations
At the end of each academic semester, as students are racing to prepare for finals and professors are scrambling to grade papers and exams, our colleges and universities ask course evaluations to be completed. Students and professors have many questions about this ritual. Students may be wondering how confidential their responses are, or if anyone reads the evaluations, or what effects their comments may actually have on a professor’s teaching method and course. Professors may see evaluations as an interruption as they try to cover the planned class material before the semester runs out. They may see evaluations with a sense of dread if the semester did not go well, and they may wonder how administrators will react to the evaluations. They may just wonder what their students think of them.
In this podcast, we’ll look at why evaluations are important—and not just those that take place at the end of the term. We’ll discuss what the best kinds of evaluations are, and how students, professors and administrators can all benefit from the process, if the process is performed correctly.